IT’S A BEAR FIGHT! The Hokies b- smacked the ‘piac, winning 81-61! Malcolm Delaney went ape, scoring 19 points in the first half, just one below his average. Delaney finished with 25 points to lead the Hokies to an easy victory. He hit four three-pointers in the first 20 to push Tech to a 12 point halftime lead. The doctor was 9/15 from the floor and 4/8 on threes, his third great shooting game in his last four games (we know what happened in the other – miami – game). [Random thought: How much would it stink if Malcolm went nuts throughout the NIT and declared for the NBA Draft based on that?]
Dorenzo Hudson was the story in the second half, scoring 14 of his 19 points. He finished just 5/17 from the floor but was the Cash to Delaney’s Tango (sorry, really stretching my movie references).
For the bobcats, leading scorer James Feldeine (who averaged 17 ppg) was held to 0. Yep, a goose-egg. A donut. Zippy. An inner tube. A Jeff Allen. A Gilbert Arenas (minus the .40 caliber weapon). Second leading scorer Justin Rutty had 22 on 10/13 shooting and James Johnson scored 17 (most in garbage time). Other than that, no bobcat had more than 7 points. In fact, only four guys had more than 3.
JT Thompson chipped in his typical 9 off the bench and Victor Davila stepped up in Allen’s place, also scoring 9. The two hit 7/10 shots.
The bobcats tried to slow down the tempo and it simply didn’t work. If this game was a movie, it would have been the Fast and the Furious (I was going to use Smokey and the Bandit but I’m not sure people would have known what that was). Tech outscored quinnipiac 27 to 2 on fastbreak points. VT was a Ferrari, qunnipiac was an AMC Gremlin.
Tech limited the bobcats at their #1 strength, offensive rebounding. The bobcats, who get 41% of their misses on the season, were outrebounded on the offensive end 18-12 by Tech. The Hokies grabbed 50% of their misses, getting 18 offensive rebounds in 36 opportunities! VT had 16 second chance points to just 10 for the bobcats.
Jeff Allen, who had reached double digits in 10 of the last 12 games, scored just 6 points while battling foul trouble. Jeff hit just 2/8 shots, but his services were not necessary tonight as the Hokies woodshedded the bobcats. He did grab a game-high 9 rebounds though.
Both teams did a good job protecting the ball. Tech had just two turnovers at the half and quinnipiac had just three. VT finished with just seven turnovers while quinnipiac had 10.
Yet the Hokies enjoyed a lead of 12 at the break, 39-27. Delaney’s 19 points were the key to that lead, along with cold shooting from the bobcats.
VirgiNIa Tech advances to the second round of the NIT for the third year in a row and will face the uconn huskies, who barely beat northeastern in their first round game. The other huskies missed a three at the buzzer to win the game. uconn is 6-1 against the Hokies, all in the last 10 years, but are just a #4 seed in the NIT. Tech will get this game at home. Hopefully more than 3,000 Hokie fans will show up, the estimated crowd at 10k seat Cassell Coliseum.
Tip of the cap to…: Jeff Allen is now the only Hokie to be ranked in the Top 10 in rebounding, steals, and blocks. He is 10th all time in rebounds at 767, 8th in steals at 187, and 6th in blocks at 122. Only five Hokies rank in the Top 10 in three major categories: Dell Curry (points, assists, and steals), Bimbo Coles (ditto), Ace Custis (points, rebounds, and steals), and Zabian Dowdell (points, assists, and steals), along with Jeff Allen.
Random ugly stat: Erick Green has missed 17 consecutive shots.